Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Holiday Hustle

By Keith N Fisher

I havent filled my list. Well, the truth is I never made one. My wife went out on Black Friday and came up empty handed. She has a new plan for next year, though. She’s going to eat Thanksgiving dinner in the line in front of the store.

She knows what she wants to buy before she shops. Me, on the other hand . . .
My daughter and I went shopping to find her mother a Christmas present the other day. Neither of us could think of a suitable gift. Just goes to show where our minds have been.

I’ve been too caught up in the day to day. The holiday hustle and service, has taken a back seat. Then, there was this guy at work . . .

One of my customers came in talking about the Idaho lottery. He said several of his friends had chipped in, and he was on his way to buy tickets. He asked me what I would do if I won. I told him I don’t gamble, but I remember hearing about the employees of a construction company doing what he was doing. They won big money.

To answer his question, I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the money if I won, but the group I’d heard about kept working and used their winnings as a hedge against inflation.

The conversation got me thinking and I surprised myself. I told my friend I would keep working and start a foundation to give anonymous gifts to needy families. I assure you I’m not that service minded, but in my heart of hearts, I knew it would be the right thing to do. I think it’s what Jesus would do.

Then, the thought occurred, that it’s easy to make that kind of decision with a hypothetical winning lottery ticket in hand. The true nature of my thoughts, while holding a stack of cash, might be entirely different. Would I pay off the mortgage? Spoil my daughter? Fix up the house?

Of course, there are many loose ends I need to tie up, but I like to think I would also help others.

After coming to that realization, I thought of all the past Christmas’ when giving was paramount in my mind. Christmas in the mission field comes to mind. The first ten years of marriage does also. There were times in my life when my heart was in the right place. So, where is my heart now?

Losing jobs and reinventing myself while promoting my writing career has left me somewhat, self-centered, I think. With all of that self-promotion, it’s hard to remember others. Yeah, it’s an excuse, but it helps me justify my actions. I missed two opportunities for service this week. I could’ve been there, but I got lost in the holiday hustle.

It’s true, life is simple in retrospect, but I’ve decided to change. I really would love my job to be a choice, instead of a necessity. To be able to help others, and spend quality time with my family. So, I’m taking Jacob’s advice from The Book of Mormon,

17 Think of your "brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that 'they may be rich like unto you.
18 But "before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the 'kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to "do good-to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. Jacob 2:17-19
pasted verbatim

Just think about what would happen if I substituted the words writing success, for the word riches.

I’m posting this on Christmas Eve. Later on, I’ll be working. Like last year, I’ll come home from work, wake my family, and see what Santa left under our tree. Then, before church, I’ll take a short nap and plot my strategy for serving others. In the mean time, here’s a cute little video you might enjoy.

Merry Christmas and good luck with your writing---see you next week.

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